The raccoons are the last ones to get a chance at the bird feeders. The real reason I fill the feeders every day is all the hungry young critters out there. For instance, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal have two kids again this year. With cardinals, the juveniles look just like Mom, except that their beaks are grey, not orange. And they tend to be bold enough to not care that you’re taking blurry photos of them through the kitchen window.
For the other birds, it’s harder to tell which ones are the young ‘uns. You see it more in how they act: birds just big as the others flapping their wings and begging open-mouthed, as if they were still in the nest. Some of them are so stupid they will sit right on the feeder begging for food. And they’re so lazy, even if Dad cracks a seed and stuffs it in their beak, they still beg for more. After a while, you can tell which ones are the adults because they’re the ones flying away, followed by their progeny.
Then there’s the squirrels. There seems to be one in particular at the feeder just about all day, whether eating or waiting for a chance to eat some more. She’s been so persistent that she’ll stay put until I’m practically on top of her before she freaks out and leaps away. Thus the picture of the squirrel in a shrub waiting for me to go away. And I say “she” because she’s obviously nursing. No wonder she’s always hungry.
And the cats are always entertained.